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The new Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 makes a technological leap this month to fall into line with its Q8 counterpart, taking on board the latest engine updates, mild hybrid drivetrain developments and cabin digitalisation innovations first seen in the coupé-inspired flagship of the Q range. Its exterior hardware also benefits from a reboot, and now combines crisper detailing with the latest design hallmarks characterising the Audi Q model line. Seven seats, adaptive air suspension and Matrix LED headlights are among the headline standard features for all models in the UK launch line-up, which is equipped to either Sport, S line, Black Edition or top tier Vorsprung specification.

The Audi Q7 demonstrates the hallmark SUV elements of the current design language. It adopts the large octagon-shaped Singleframe with its six upright slats which creates an even more powerful impression from the outset, and its two-part side air inlets have a much more expressive line, as does the sill area that draws attention to the large SUV’s considerable ground clearance.

The headlights emphasise the width of the full-size model with their contour and light signature. They feature Matrix LED technology as standard in Sport, S line and Black Edition versions, with an upgrade to HD Matrix LED units with Audi laser light reserved for the Vorsprung. At the rear, a striking chrome strip creates the visual connection between the flat rear lights with their technical-looking graphics and carries forward the horizontal body line. The designers achieved the clear view with taut, flat surfaces, which span the entire width particularly in the license plate area. In S line models and above a blade in the front bumper, accentuated underbody protection at the rear and a full paint finish create an even more striking look in conjunction with alloy wheels measuring 20 inches in the S line, 21 inches in the Black Edition and 22 inches in the Vorsprung. Sport specification includes a 19-inch wheel.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen Takes Over Leading Position for Electro-Mobility In China

Volkswagen is striving for the lead in transforming the auto industry towards electric mobility in China. This was endorsed by the CEO of Volkswagen AG, Dr Herbert Diess, at the first World New Energy Vehicle Congress in the southern Chinese city of Boao. The Boao Consensus, which describes the strategic results of the congress, foresees e-cars accounting for 50% of annual global car sales by 2035. Within the Chinese market, Volkswagen commits to that goal as well, making China pivotal for Volkswagen Group’s decarbonization strategy. Volkswagen intends to offer 14 electrified models to Chinese customers this year. By 2028, more than half of the Group’s planned 22 million electric cars will be produced in China. At the same time, Volkswagen is strengthening its local R&D. More than 4,500 engineers work on future technologies in the country.

At the congress, Mr Herbert Diess emphasised the important role of the automotive industry on the way to fulfilling the Paris Climate Agreement: “China also relies on emission-free mobility under its clear commitment to the goals of Paris. In this transformation, we are playing a key role in providing a comprehensive range of e-vehicles and strengthening the private charging infrastructure. ”

In his speech, Mr Diess also underlined that a predictable and reliable legal and regulatory framework was necessary for the further development of electro mobility. He expressly welcomed another opening-up of the country.

E-mobility is already booming in China. Last year, more than one million plug-in hybrids and purely battery-powered vehicles were sold. This makes China the world’s largest market for e-cars. The government is supporting e-mobility through comprehensive initiatives such as the expansion of the charging infrastructure and low electricity costs. In addition, more renewable energy is being harnessed to generate electricity.

As part of its e-mobility offensive, the Volkswagen Group plans to produce around 11.6 million e- cars in China by 2028: that is more than half of the Group’s global total target of 22 million. All three joint ventures – FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and JAC Volkswagen – will contribute to this. As soon as the SAIC VOLKSWAGEN plant in Anting and FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan start producing MEB-based vehicles next year, the production capacity alone will be around 600,000 purely electric vehicles per year. In addition, JAC and SEAT are developing their own platform for smaller e-cars. Next year, around 400,000 electrified models from Volkswagen Group China will be delivered to Chinese customers. Thus, Volkswagen Group China will meet all regulatory requirements: the fleet consumption target of five liters in 2020 as well as the requirements of the credit system for the share of electric vehicles in total production.

The ecological footprint is to be further improved in all 33 Chinese production facilities of Volkswagen and its partners. In the past year alone, the CO2 emissions of the Chinese plants were reduced by 13%, saving 390,000 tonnes of CO2.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Strengthens IT Competence Worldwide

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is laying the groundwork for efficient and tailor-made digitalisation within the company going forward with a new IT organisation. Mr Abdallah Shanti has been named Global Chief Information Officer of the Volkswagen brand and leads the IT function set up at the end of April this year. He will be in charge of IT at in excess of 50 locations belonging to the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand worldwide.

Brand IT will be responsible for analyzing and providing the required IT technology in both production and non-production units, thereby accelerating the definition of new IT solutions and digitalisation concepts even further in future and tailoring IT to the needs of the brand.

Mr Abdallah Shanti is a computer scientist and engineer. From 2012 through 2018, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Volkswagen Group of America prior to assuming responsibility for Brand IT at Volkswagen Passenger Cars in mid- 2018. He Will brings some 30 years of experience in IT and technical development in the automotive sector to the Volkswagen brand. Before joining Volkswagen, his previous appointments included Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at ANX, Vice President and CIO at American Axle & Manufacturing Inc and General Director of Global System Engineering and Application Development at General Motors.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen Inaugurates “We Campus” in Berlin

Volkswagen inaugurated the “We Campus” in Berlin. The digital launch command for the new facility was given by Ramona Pop, Deputy Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economy, Energy and Enterprises, and Christian Senger, Volkswagen brand Board Member responsible for Digital Car & Services. The new “We Campus” will bring together about 900 experts from Volkswagen and its technology partners who have previously worked at different locations. In future, they will develop new added value and mobility services which will be offered within the “Volkswagen We” ecosystem. This also includes the full-electric car sharing service WeShare which has been launched in Berlin with 1,500 e-Golf1) vehicles. Volkswagen is continuously expanding its ecosystem and intends to create further future-oriented jobs at the campus.

Volkswagen has oriented the facility near Alexanderplatz entirely towards the requirements of modern digital development work. A key role will be played by agile working methods, which have been given special attention in the design of the office space, with a total area of 15,900 square meters. In future, interdisciplinary experts including specialists such as product developers, software engineers and UX designers will work together directly at the “We Campus”. Participating technology partners can be directly involved. This will simplify procedures and accelerate the testing of newly developed software and apps.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
The Audi SQ8 TDI

Audi presents the sporty top model of the Q family: the SQ8 TDI. Thanks to the eight-cylinder diesel engine with biturbo charging, the large SUV coupe offers superior performance coupled with a high level of efficiency. The drive and suspension technologies, which include the sport differential, roll stabilization and all-wheel steering, ensure dynamic handling. The Audi SQ8 TDI will be on the lots of European dealerships in the late summer of 2019. Its price in Germany starts at 102,900 euros.

Power and efficiency: 4.0 TDI with electric powered compressor
The biturbo V8 in the Audi SQ8 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 (30.2 US mpg); CO2 emissions combined in g/km*: 205 - 204 (329.9 - 328.3 g/mi)) is the most powerful diesel engine on the European market. It combines immense power with a high level of economy and integrates a whole package of high-tech solutions. The engine provides 320 kW (435 metric hp) and develops 900 Nm (663.8 lb-ft) of torque between 1,250 and 3,250 rpm. This allows the 4.0 TDI to accelerate the SUV coupe like a sports car: The 100 km/h (62.1 mph) mark is reached after 4.8 seconds, and the SQ8 TDI** only reaches its electronic propulsion limit at 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Power transmission takes place via an eight-speed tiptronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

An electric powered compressor supplements the work of the two turbochargers when starting off and when accelerating at a low engine speed, allowing the V8 TDI to always build up its power spontaneously. The EPC draws its drive power from a 48-volt electrical system, which is also the backbone of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Its belt alternator starter can recuperate during deceleration and feed power to the lithium-ion battery.

In real-world customer operation, MHEV technology reduces consumption by up to 0.5 liters (0.1 US gal) per 100 kilometers. In the WLTP cycle, the large SUV coupe consumes an average of 7.8 liters (30.2 mpg), which corresponds to 205 to 204 grams of CO2 per kilometer (329.9 - 328.3 g/mi) – depending on the tire/wheel sets used.

As standard, the Audi SQ8 TDI** is equipped with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and the adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping. The air suspension varies the level position of the body by up to 90 millimeters (3.5 in), thereby allowing the vehicle to be driven on different types of terrain. Three optional top technologies, including the sport differential, provide additional vehicle dynamics, traction and stability. When the vehicle is cornering at high speed, the sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, adding a self-locking center differential to the quattro drive. All-wheel steering is available as an alternative to the standard progressive steering. At low speed, it turns the rear wheels in the direction opposite that of the front wheels to increase agility. As from a speed of approx. 60 km/h (37.3 mph), they turn slightly in the same direction to improve stability.

The third high-tech element is the electromechanical active roll stabilization. There is a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer on each axle. When driving straight ahead, they largely act independently of each other, which reduces sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads. At sporty paces, however, the stabilizer halves work as a unit by being turned in opposite directions. This makes the handling of the SQ8 TDI** tighter and significantly reduces its roll angle when cornering.

In short, the design of the Audi SQ8 TDI** can be described as impressive, sporty, and robust. The characteristic exterior elements are accentuated specifically and emphasize the special status of the top model: The octagonal Singleframe is structured by double louvers and surrounded by a large matt silver frame. The underbody protection gleams in the same color and makes the front and rear bumpers appear even more voluminous. The air inlets with their clear contours, the S-specific exhaust system and the distinct quattro blisters above the wheel arches also demonstrate power par excellence. The wheel arches house 21 inch wheels as standard, and exclusive 22 inch wheels are available upon request. Horizontal lines, for example the light strip at the rear and an eye-catching strip above the black diffuser, emphasize the width of the SUV coupe. Standard LED headlights that include high-beam assist illuminate the road, with HD matrix technology available as an option.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
In beeld: de allerlaatste Volkswagen Kever is van de band gerold

In het Mexicaanse Puebla is vandaag de allerlaatste Volkswagen Kever van de band gerold. Daarmee is een einde gekomen aan zeven decennia van autogeschiedenis.

Autoredactie/HLN 10-07-19, 22:02 Laatste update: 22:07

De allerlaatste Kever rolde de fabriek uit onder begeleiding van mariachi's (Mexicaanse muzikanten) en omringd door de arbeiders van de fabriek. De fabriek in Mexico produceerde sinds 1997 meer dan 1,7 miljoen exemplaren van de Beetle, de retroversie van de aloude Kever. De laatst gebouwde auto wordt niet verkocht, maar gaat naar een museum.

Zie link voor adiverse afbeeldingen en video:
Doek valt voor de VW Kever

Hij was net zo populair bij de nazi’s als bij de hippies: op 10 juli viel definitief het doek voor de Volkswagen Kever. Het klassieke model ging jaren geleden al uit productie, maar nu moet ook het retromodel Beetle eraan geloven.

Niek Schenk 10-07-19, 11:45 Laatste update: 11-07-19, 08:10

De laatste stuiptrekking van het retromodel was een Final Edition. Daar zijn er 5.961 van gemaakt en het allerlaatste exemplaar gaat het museum in. Maar niet voordat in de Volkswagen-fabriek in het Mexicaans Puebla eerst uitgebreid met een heuse ceremonie werd stilgestaan bij het definitieve einde van de Kever.

Lees ook
Zelfrijdende Volkswagens op proef in stadsverkeer

De Kever is een stijlicoon, net zoals het flesje Coca-Cola. Wie de bedenker van de Kever is, daar zal altijd discussie over bestaan. Was het de joodse ingenieur Josef Ganz? Velen gaan daar inmiddels vanuit. Feit is dat ingenieur Ferdinand Porsche het Volkswagen-project voor de nazi's leidde. In die jaren werd hij nog Kraft durch Freude (KdF) Wagen genoemd en werd hij door de nazi’s als marketinginstrument ingezet om het grote publiek te verleiden. De Kever moest de auto voor het volk worden, hij zou de massa mobiel maken en er werd zelfs een spaarsysteem bedacht om hem betaalbaar te maken. Maar voordat de Kever bij het grote publiek belandde, trok Adolf Hitler de stekker uit de autofabriek, die hij nota bene zelf met veel ceremonie had geopend. In plaats van auto's moest de fabriek ineens oorlogsvoertuigen maken en het publiek kon fluiten naar ‘de eigen auto’ die hij hen had beloofd.

Na de Tweede Wereldoorlog wordt de autofabriek en ook de Kever nieuw leven ingeblazen door de geallieerden. Op 27 december 1945 rolt de allereerste VW Kever van de band. Aanvankelijk lijkt geen enkel ander land geïnteresseerd in de Volkswagen met zijn oorlogsverleden. Maar de Nederlandse autohandelaar Ben Pon ziet er wel brood in. Nederland wordt in 1947 het eerste exportland voor Volkswagen en later regelt Pon ook de export van de Kever naar de VS.

Over de hele wereld wordt de Volkswagen uiteindelijk een succes. In Nederland kost hij in de beginjaren nog geen 3.000 gulden. In Europa valt in 1978 het doek voor de klassieke Kever. Hij is dan inmiddels opgevolgd door de Golf. In Mexico blijft hij tot 2003 nog in productie. Uiteindelijk zijn er meer dan 21 miljoen auto's van het origineel verkocht en daarmee is dit met de Ford T en de Toyota Corolla een van de meest verkochte auto’s ter wereld.

In 1997 verrast Volkswagen met een retroversie: de New Beetle, die vooral in de VS populair wordt. Europeanen zijn er minder van gecharmeerd. De New Beetle is technisch gebaseerd op de Golf, maar zijn design is wel degelijk een knipoog naar de klassieker. Het is dit retromodel dat vandaag uit productie gaat. Intussen blijft het de vraag of we de Kever nu inderdaad nooit meer zullen terugzien. Regelmatig gaan er geruchten dat VW hem de komende jaren toch weer in een moderne versie uit zal brengen, maar dan elektrisch.

Voor afbeeldingen, zie link:
Deze gepantserde auto is sneller dan een kogel

Gepantserde auto's moeten het natuurlijk hebben van hun goede afweer tegen kogels en granaten, maar deze bomvrije Audi RS 7 is zo snel dat hij al weg is voordat de aanslag goed en wel begint.

Erik Kouwenhoven 10-07-19, 20:00 Laatste update: 20:45

Een auto beveiligen zodat ‘ie een kernoorlog kan overleven is mooi, maar de beste manier om een aanslag te overleven, is nog altijd door te vluchten. Vandaar dat deze Audi RS 7 maar liefst 760 pk sterk is en beschikt over een koppel (trekkracht) van 1.085 Nm. Daarmee sprint de Audi in 2,9 seconden van 0-100 km/u en haalt hij een topsnelheid van 325 km/u.

James Bond-waardige trucs aan boord. © Addarmor

De auto wordt geleverd door het Amerikaanse bedrijf AddArmor, dat gebruikmaakt van polycarbonaat om de auto te beschermen. Dit is sterker en veel lichter dan staal. Hierdoor weegt deze gepantserde RS 7 amper 90 kilogram meer dan een reguliere RS 7. De auto krijgt het B4-predicaat en is dus bestand tegen kogels van pistolen en geweren. Dat lijkt vrij weinig, maar de kans is klein dat de auto überhaupt wordt geraakt.

© Addarmor
De RS 7 is namelijk voorzien van een arsenaal aan slimme trucs. Wat te denken van een rookgordijn, verblindende lichten, een geluidskanon en zelfs deurhendels die onder stroom kunnen worden gezet? Dankzij de verstevigde voorzijde kun je andere voertuigen rammen en aan boord zijn gasmaskers en wapens aanwezig. Ook is de auto voorzien van ‘run flat banden’, waarmee kan worden doorgereden als ze lek zijn. De aanpassingen kosten 81.000 euro, dat is dus exclusief de basis: de RS 7 die je voor grofweg 180.000 euro zelf moet aanschaffen.
Elektrische Volkswagen verbreekt record van Formule 1-auto

Volkswagen heeft met zijn elektrische ID.R de 1,86 km lange heuvelklim op het Goodwood Festival of Speed in 39,9 seconden afgelegd. Daarmee is het record dat in 1999 door coureur Nick Heidfeld met een Formule 1-auto op 41,6 seconden werd gezet, verbroken.

Autoredactie/Tweakers 08-07-19, 11:49

Romain Dumas manoeuvreerde de Volkswagen ID.R afgelopen weekend in recordtempo de berg op. Vorig jaar won Volkswagen met dezelfde auto ook al de hillclimb tijdens het Goodwood-festival, maar toen lukte het niet om de recordtijd van Heidfeld te verbreken. Dat lukt nu wel, nadat Volkswagen aanpassingen aan de accu’s had gedaan.

Lees ook
Volkswagen gaat plankgas naar de elektrische auto

De volledig elektrische aangedreven ID.R heeft een vermogen van 680 pk en weegt minder dan 1000 kg. De Formule 1-auto die twintig jaar lang het record in handen had was een McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 met een V10-benzinemotor goed voor 780 pk. Nick Heidfeld was in 1999 één van de laatste coureurs die met een F1-auto de berg beklom. Om veiligheidsredenen werden Formule 1-auto’s later uitgesloten van deelname.

Volkswagen heeft de ID.R gemaakt om mee te doen aan de Pikes Peak Hillclimb. Vorig jaar wist de elektrische auto ook daar het record te verbreken. Dit jaar zette Volkswagen met een aangepaste versie van de ID.R de snelste tijd voor ev’s neer op Nürburgring.

Voor video, zie link
Volkswagen wil met Ford investeren in zelfrijdende auto's

(ABM FN) Volkswagen heeft een overeenstemming bereikt om circa 2,6 miljard dollar te investeren in Argo AI, een partner van Ford Motor die zich richt op autonoom rijden. Dit schreef The Wall Street Journal vrijdag op basis van bronnen.

De deal waardeert de startup Argo AI op 7 miljard dollar, aldus de bronnen, en zal vermoedelijk later vandaag officieel worden aangekondigd.

Ford is sinds begin 2017 een meerderheidsaandeelhouder in Argo, toen het circa 1 miljard dollar in het bedrijf stak.

Onder de overeenkomst zal Argo technologie voor autonoom rijden ontwikkelen voor Volkswagen en zal uiteindelijk ook commerciële systemen leveren. De startup zal blijven samenwerken met Ford.

Door: ABM Financial News.
Redactie: +32(0)78 486 481

© Copyright ABM Financial News B.V. All rights reserved.
'Volkswagen investeert in autonoom rijden'

In de start-up Argo AI heeft Ford zijn onderzoek naar zelfrijdende auto's al ondergebrachtFoto: Justin Merriman / Bloomberg

Volkswagen VOW€156,15+1,30% gaat investeren in Argo AI, het bedrijf waarin Ford F$10,19-- zijn onderzoek naar zelfstandig rijdende auto's heeft ondergebracht. Daarmee wordt de samenwerking die Volkswagen en Ford begin dit jaar aankondigden verder uitgebreid. Dit meldt Bloomberg op basis van anonieme bronnen.

Naast een investering van $2,6 mrd, waarvan $1 mrd contant, zal Volkswagen volgens de bronnen ook Audi's Autonomous Intelligent Driving-divisie onderbrengen bij Argo, dat wordt gewaardeerd op $7 mrd. Audi maakt deel uit van de Volkswagen-groep.

Volkwagen, Ford en Argo hebben het bericht nog niet bevestigd. De bedrijven zullen naar verwachting later deze vrijdag de samenwerking bekendmaken.

Ontwikkelingen gaan snel
Voor Volkswagen, de grootste automaker ter wereld, is de investering in Argo een manier om de concurrentie met Waymo van Alphabet en het pas aangekondigde samenwerkingsverband tussen Daimler en BMW aan te gaan. De ontwikkelingen op het gebied van zelfrijdende auto's gaan snel en veel bedrijven zoeken de samenwerking op om deze te kunnen bijbenen.

Volkswagen werkte op het gebied van autonoom rijden eerder samen met Aurora Innovation. Deze samenwerking werd vorige maand echter opgezegd. Daarmee maakte Volkswagen de weg vrij voor de samenwerking met Argo. Aurora is op zijn beurt met Fiat Chrysler bezig om autonoom rijden te ontwikkelen.
Update: Volkswagen wil met Ford investeren in zelfrijdende auto's

Ford Motor Co.
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(ABM FN-Dow Jones) Volkswagen heeft een overeenstemming bereikt om circa 2,6 miljard dollar te investeren in Argo AI, een partner van Ford Motor die zich richt op autonoom rijden. Dit meldden beide autobouwers vrijdag.

De deal waardeert de startup Argo AI op 7 miljard dollar.

De 2,6 miljard dollar is opgebouwd uit 1 miljard dollar aan financiering en 1,6 miljard dollar, die de waarde vertegenwoordigt van het bedrijf Autonomous Intelligent Driving van Volkswagen.

Als onderdeel van de transactie zal Volkswagen voor 500 miljoen dollar aandelen Argo AI inslaan, Ford legt de resterende 600 miljoen dollar van zijn eerder toegezegde contante investering van 1 miljard dollar op tafel.

Ford is sinds begin 2017 een meerderheidsaandeelhouder in Argo, toen het circa 1 miljard dollar in het bedrijf stak.

Onder de overeenkomst zal Argo technologie voor autonoom rijden ontwikkelen voor Volkswagen en zal uiteindelijk ook commerciële systemen leveren. De startup zal blijven samenwerken met Ford.

Update: om meer informatie toe te voegen.

Door: ABM Financial News.
Redactie: +31(0)20 26 28 999

© Copyright ABM Financial News B.V. All rights reserved.
Volkswagen Emden Plant Manager Moves to China

Mr Andreas Dick, plant manager at Volkswagen’s Emden factory, moves to China as Vice President (Technical) and Board of Management member at FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co Ltd. In his new function, he succeeds Dr Jürgen Unser, who takes on new responsibilities in the Group. Dick’s successor as plant manager in Emden will be appointed at a later date.

Mr Andreas Dick (48) holds a degree in production engineering and joined the Volkswagen Group in 1998. In2006, he transferred from the Wolfsburg plant to become head of body production at the Puebla factory in Mexico. Dick moved to FAW-Volkswagen in 2008, initially as head of Car Plant 2 in Changchun. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for developing the plant in Foshan, later becoming plant manager there before his appointment as Emden plant manager in 2016.

Dr Jürgen Unser (53) holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has been with the Volkswagen Group since 2004. He began his professional career in 1994 at Mercedes-Benz, where he held several management functions. Having moved to Volkswagen, he occupied responsible positions in production at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, at Audi and in Volkswagen Group Production Planning/Strategy. Unser was appointed Vice President (Technical) at FAW-Volkswagen in 2013.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen Group Boosts Deliveries In June

In June, there was a rise of 1.6% in deliveries by the Volkswagen Group compared with June 2018, to 974,400 vehicles. This positive development was chiefly driven by China, where 15% more vehicles than in June 2018 were handed over to customers. The new emissions standard C6 has applied since July 1, 2019, which led customers to bring purchases forward to June. There had been similar effects in Europe in June 2018. Vehicle deliveries in this region had reached a high level as a result of WLTP last June; as expected, there was therefore a fall (-4.8%) in June 2019. In North America (-0.5%) deliveries were slightly below those of the same month last year, South America (-0.1%) developed almost unchanged.

Dr Christian Dahlheim, Head of Volkswagen Group Sales said that “In June, the brands of the Volkswagen Group achieved good performance and boosted deliveries in overall markets that continued to shrink. In China, we benefited especially strongly from the positive impetus given by the changeover in emissions standards. It remains to be seen whether this will lead to a general turnaround there. All in all, we can look back on a successful first half of the year: the Group has maintained its position in a challenging market environment and expanded its global market share.”

Deliveries in the regions in June developed as follows:

In Europe, Volkswagen Group brands delivered a total of 435,000 vehicles, a decrease of 4.8% compared with the same month last year. Deliveries in June 2018 had reached a high level there due to early purchases related to WLTP. In Western Europe, where 364,000 vehicles were handed over to customers, the decrease was at about the same level, at 4.7%. In the home market of Germany, there was scarcely any change compared with the previous year, about 130,700 vehicles were delivered. In Central and Eastern Europe, 71,000 vehicles were handed over to customers (-5.3%). Russia once again provided a positive stimulus, with 19,900 vehicles delivered, 2.7% more than in June 2018.

In North America, there were divergent developments in the different markets. All in all, deliveries fell slightly by 0.5%t compared with the same month last year, to 80,700 vehicles. Positive impetus came from the USA, where 56,700 vehicles were handed over to customers (+5.9%). In Canada, there were falls in deliveries and the market as a whole. 9,300 customers there took delivery of a new vehicle from a Group brand (-19.7%). In Mexico, the general market trend remained negative as a result of difficult economic conditions. The Group brands delivered 14,700 vehicles (-7.8%) there and boosted their market share.

South America developed almost unchanged compared to June 2018. 48,600 vehicles were deliv- ered to customers in the region, a drop of 0.1%. Brazil, the largest market in the region, once again provided a positive stimulus with a rise of 14.8% to 38,200 vehicles delivered. This rise was almost sufficient to compensate for the marked drop in Argentina (-48.6%). In an overall economic environment that remained challenging, 5,100 vehicles were handed over to customers there.

A significant rise of 11.3% was recorded in the Asia-Pacific region, where Group brands delivered a total of 381,400 vehicles. The main reason for this positive development was the emissions standard changeover in China, which resulted in customers bringing their vehicle purchases forward. 354,800 vehicles were handed over to customers in the Group’s most important market, a significant rise of 15%.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Ford & Volkswagen Expand Global Collaboration

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the US and Europe positioning both companies to better serve customers while improving their competitiveness and cost and capital efficiencies. Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett as well as Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky announced Volkswagen is joining Ford in investing in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology platform company.

Working together with Ford and Volkswagen, Argo AI’s self-driving system is the first with commercial deployment plans for Europe and the US Plus, being able to tap into both automakers’ global reach, Argo AI’s platform has the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date. Volkswagen and Ford independently will integrate Argo AI’s SDS into purpose-built vehicles to support the distinct people and goods movement initiatives of both companies.

Argo AI’s focus remains on delivering a SAE Level 4-capable SDS to be applied for ride sharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas.

Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI, and combined, Volkswagen and Ford will own a substantial majority. The remainder will be used as an incentive pool for Argo AI employees. The full transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen Commercial Delivered 260,000 Vehicles in H1 of 2019

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has delivered 259,400 Transporter, Caddy, Amarok and Crafter models to customers all over the world from January until June this year. This is exactly at the same high level of the previous year’s period. With 182,800 deliveries to customers in Western Europe, last year’s deliveries were exceeded in the most important regions by 1.4%.

The delivery volume in Western Europe was highly influenced by the core markets:

Germany: 68,100 vehicles (-0.3%)
UK: 26,100 vehicles (+6.3%)
Spain: 10,200 vehicles (+20.7%)
France: 10,100 vehicles (+1.5%)
Italy: 7,200 vehicles (+9.6%)
In Eastern Europe, 23,900 vehicles were delivered to customers since the beginning of the year (+16.5%).

North and South America
The brand has delivered 4,500 vehicles (+23.7%) to customers in Mexico (North American market) and 19,100 vehicles (-15.5%) to customers in South America.

Since January, 11,700 vehicles were handed over to customers (+43.8%).

Asia-Pacific and Middle East
In the Asia-Pacific region 11,800 vehicles were handed over to customers (-11.0%); 5,500 vehicles (-49.3%) in the Middle Eastern region.

Brand deliveries according to model ranges (January – June 2019):
T series: 103,300 vehicles (-3.5%)
Caddy: 82,500 vehicles (-2.3%)
Amarok: 37,200 vehicles (-9.2%)
Crafter: 36,100 vehicles (+34.9%)

June 2019
In June, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 44,400 vehicles worldwide (-10.0%). This is due to the disproportionately high deliveries in June 2018 following the end of a temporary suspension of deliveries of T6 vehicles with passenger car registration.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Volkswagen to Build New Plant in Turkey

Automobilwoche reported that German carmaker Volkswagen is planning to build a multi-brand production plant in Turkey. As per report, Volkswagen's supervisory board on Thursday decided to build a plant near the western coastal city of Izmir. It added that Volkswagen's subsidiary Skoda would be one of the brands produced there.

In April, Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny reported that Skoda was choosing between Bulgaria or Turkey as the site for a planned new plant.

A spokesman for Volkswagen's supervisory board told Reuters the plans for a new site were being firmed up but had not yet been finalized.

Source : Reuters
Audi Sport Celebrates 25 Years of Audi RS Models

A quarter of a century has passed since the first Audi RS model was launched on the market, marking the beginning of a success story. Ever since the introduction of the iconic RS 2 Avant, the Audi RS models have always been held in high esteem, with many examples now enjoying cult status. To date, Audi Sport GmbH, formerly quattro GmbH, has presented a total of 25 RS models. In 2019, a further six are being presented, of which two are completely new additions to the RS roster.

At Audi, the designation “RS” stands for a philosophy that is driven by a quest for top performance and perfection. “Every RS model expresses the passion that we put into developing our high-performance cars,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “For 25 years, our customers have been experiencing the RS models as masterful companions for everyday life that convey pure emotion and maximum driving enjoyment.”

The RS models are the spearheads of their respective product lines. They stand for performance, prestige and exclusivity at the limit of what is technically feasible without any loss of everyday usability. Many of them are pioneers in their market segments and trailblazers for technical innovations that applied to the Audi RS 4 Avant with its barnstorming biturbo V6 19 years ago and it applies just as much to the TT RS and its multi-award-winning, forceful five cylinder in its latest evolutionary stage.

In 1994, the 315PS Audi RS 2 Avant with its four-valve, five-cylinder engine, long since in use, wrote the first chapter of the RS story. With this car, the company established the segment of the dynamic high-performance station wagons. The quattro drive with its self-locking centre differential that had proven itself in motor racing and rallying made it possible to masterfully transfer this high performance to the road.

In 1999, the Audi RS 4 Avant based on the S4 of the time introduced a new dimension in terms of power to the medium-size class. Under the bonnet, a V6 engine with displacement of 2.7 litres, five valves per cylinder and biturbo charging does all the work – just like in the S4. The engineers at what was then quattro GmbH developed the power unit, which was already very powerful, to give it even more vibrancy and even higher torque for use in the RS 4. In collaboration with Cosworth Technology, the cylinder head was newly developed, the intake and exhaust ports were revised and the cross section of the air ducts were enlarged on the suction and compression sides. Furthermore, the turbochargers are larger and the boost pressure is increased compared with the S4. As a result, the RS 4 engine develops maximum power of 380PS instead of 265PS.

The second generation of the RS 4 followed in 2005. Numerous innovations, many of which originated in motorsports, characterise this generation. A standout among these was the V8 engine with 420PS. It was the first time that a manufacturer had relied on the combination of petrol direct injection and a high-rev concept that allowed up to 8,250 rpm. The petrol direct injection engine enabled improved power output through more effective production of the fuel/air mixture. In the R8, which enjoyed success at Le Mans, the FSI technology had already proven its performance in impressive style. In 2007, the engine was also used in the first generation of the Audi R8. The suspension offered the latest generation of permanent all-wheel drive as well as the Dynamic Ride Control damper system that was first used in 2002 in the RS 6. With its asymmetric dynamic torque distribution in the ratio of 40 percent front to 60 percent rear, the refined quattro drive with self-locking centre differential ensured optimum traction. The first and, to date, only RS 4 Cabriolet provided open-top driving pleasure with the background music of the sonorous V8 aspirated engine.

2008 saw the arrival of the RS 6 Avant, a sports car in the form of an unobtrusive business station wagon. With a completely newly developed V10 engine with FSI direct injection, biturbo charging, dry sump lubrication which is also used in motorsport as well as the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the RS 6 Avant put itself ahead of the competition. With the impressive V10 force complete with 580PS of power and 650 Nm (479.4 lb-ft) of torque, the RS 6 Avant was the most powerful series production Audi to date. The crankcase of the V10 power unit was made in a low-pressure chill casting process from an aluminium alloy – a high-tech material that combines low weight with high strength. The cylinder liners of the connected crankcase were mechanically exposed, with the result that the entire engine weighed only 278 kilograms. In order to meet the most exacting demands in terms of vehicle dynamics at the same time, the engine’s oil circuit was developed with dry sump lubrication, which was tried and tested in motorsports. The external oil container and the oil pump module, which operates with numerous suction stages, ensured that all engine components and the two turbochargers were lubricated at all times. Today, this high-performance technology is used in the Audi R8.

In 2011, the RS 3 Sportback with 340PS, which in turn had a five-cylinder engine, brought the RS philosophy to the compact class. In 2013, the RS Q3 opened up another market segment as the first compact SUV. It was powered by the transversely installed 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, as used in the TT RS and RS 3. At less than 50 centimetres long, the engine was very compact. This made the long-stroke engine (bore x stroke 82.5 x 92.8 millimetres) perfect for transverse installation. Initially, it produced 310PS, but this increased to 340PS from late 2014. The RS Q3 performance that followed in 2016 even reached 367PS.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Porsche Presents VR Entertainment for Back Seat with “holoride”

Discover the universe from the back seat of a Porsche at the Startup Autobahn Expo Day this Tuesday in Stuttgart’s Wagenhallen venue, the sports car manufacturer and the startup “holoride” will show what entertainment could look like in the future for passengers in a Porsche. The aim of the joint project between Porsche and “holoride” is to give passengers the opportunity of immersing themselves in virtual entertainment worlds. For this, a VR headset with sensors is paired to the vehicle so that its content can be adapted to the car’s driving movements in real time. For instance, if the car is being driven around the curve, the space shuttle that the passenger is virtually travelling in will also change direction. This results in a highly immersive experience, which significantly reduces the symptoms of motion sickness. In future, the system will also, for example, be able to evaluate navigation data in order to adapt the length of a VR game to the calculated duration of the journey. Furthermore, the technology can be used to integrate other entertainment services such as films or virtual conferences for productivity in the passenger seat.

The “holoride” software makes it possible to offer elastic content: a new form of media especially designed for use in vehicles, in which the content adapts to driving time, motion and context. The startup’s business model uses an open platform approach, allowing other car manufacturers and content producers to benefit from this technology.

holoride” aims to bring this new form of entertainment using commercially available VR headsets in the rear seats of the car to market in the next three years. With further development of Car-to-X infrastructure, traffic events can also become part of the experience in the long term. Traffic light stops could then be unexpected obstacles in the plot or interrupt a learning programme with a short quiz.

Under the motto “Next Visions. Change the Game – Create tomorrow”, Porsche is inviting innovators and partners to the International Motor Show in Frankfurt on September 20 to discuss the future of mobility. It will be possible to experience the results of the joint vision of Porsche and “holoride” there.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
AC Motors, Volkswagen, China FAW Group & Star Charge to Build a Charging Infrastructure Ecosystem

Auto News - Published on Thu, 18 Jul 2019

On Jul.11th, JAC Motors, Volkswagen, China FAW Group, and Star Charge have jointly established Kaimais New Energy Technology Co Ltd to help China’s charging infrastructure industry enter the ‘Intelligence Era’.

CAMS is committed to providing customers with customized charging products and one-stop solutions to enhance the customer charging experience. In the field of private charging, CAMS develops intelligent charging wall box products based on the diversified needs of exclusive customers; in the field of public charging, the rapid charging station of CAMS has a power output of 360 kW with the fastest charging for 15 minutes, and the vehicle mileage can last for 400 kilometers. At the same time, CAMS actively explores advanced technology products such as wireless charging and intelligent robot charging.

This time, JAC Motors, Volkswagen, FAW, and Star Charge will not only provide high-quality electric vehicles for Chinese consumers, but also create an interconnected charging infrastructure network. With the high-quality resources of the ‘Four Strong Alliance’, CAMS will open up the traditional upstream and downstream resources of the charging industry chain and combine artificial intelligence technology to build a new intelligent charging infrastructure ecosystem. Adhering to the concept of cooperation and win-win, we will stimulate the potential of new energy vehicles and charging industry, continue to charge for the sustainable development of the industry, and provide end-to-end intelligent charging services for new energy vehicle customers, so that charging is no longer ‘anxious’.

The automotive industry is undergoing dramatic changes, whoever can first complete the layout of the travel ecosystem will occupy the commanding heights of the future development of the automotive industry. The layout of the charging infrastructure is a vital part of the travel ecosystem. Faced with the continuous growth of new energy vehicles, it is difficult for existing charging service providers to meet the demands of consumers for high quality, intelligent charging services. The ‘Four Strong Alliance’ Kaimais officially entered the charging industry to accelerate the electricization and large-scale development, and to provide high-quality intelligent charging services for new energy vehicle customers, as well as to promote the construction of charging infrastructure for China’s interconnection.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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